Digital and cultural inclusion goes hand in hand
Added to cultural and linguistic barriers, many migrant women may also face important digital challenges. To help them overcome these problems and support digital integration, KMD has carried out on-site learning and coaching activities in collaboration with ReDI School of Digital Integration Copenhagen.
Throughout autumn, KMD has opened the doors of its offices in Odense, Aarhus, and Ballerup to three different ReDI school groups, where different learning and coaching sessions with the students have been carried out.
Odense and BallerupStudent groups in KMD Odense and KMD Ballerup belonged to the digital-beginners course. For these women, everyday administrative tasks can seem overwhelming. As Ditte Haugaard, KMD’s responsible for this initiative explains, “Today, much of Danish society functions digitally. However, there are still citizens who have challenges with digital communication and who need help communicating with the public authorities. As a responsible supplier of public digital solutions, we see it as a natural part of our responsibility to contribute to increasing digital inclusion, among other things, by supporting initiatives such as ReDI School”.
During the visit, students were first introduced to important digital platforms such as Sundhed.dk or the app MinSundhed. These platforms are widely used in Denmark for all kinds of healthcare everyday tasks, such as finding a doctor or reading test results. ReDI School student Amina Muhammed talks about her experience: "Honestly, the most important thing, we learned, was to have our health cards on our phone and use sundhed.dk. It is the most important thing, because I lose my card all the time, and now it is in my phone. And having my doctor's prescription on my phone and my doctor's journal with me everywhere is important when I travel and everything. That is amazing."
It is the first time I tried to work with a robot. It was a nice exercise because we learned how coding works
Finally, the students were introduced to the cute robot KUBO, with which they could learn the basics of programming and computational thinking in an intuitive and funny way. ReDI student Meaza Gebrehiwot talks about her experience with these tools: "It is the first time I tried to work with a robot. It was a nice exercise because we learned how coding works, and how to make it remember the road by itself. It's very impressive and fun."
This initiative wouldn’t have been possible without some KMD workers who volunteered to help. In Odense, Senior Product Owner Tina Rust Egedorf, explains her reasons to give a hand. “I signed up as a volunteer because I think it is important that we all make an effort to get everyone integrated into our society, and therefore I wanted to support this activity. I think these kinds of activities are good, and in a nice way combine something social between the women who come and with us. At the same time, we help them on their way with technical challenges in digital Denmark.”
Senior Product Owner, Tina Rust Egedorf
Senior Product Owner, Elisa Kalia
In Ballerup, also Senior Product Owner Elisa Kalia, kindly made herself available as an assistant teacher. Elisa had also previously stood up as an IT role model at previous ReDI School company visits.
"It's great to be able to contribute to integrating women into Danish society. If I can stand up and contribute with some knowledge that can be useful to someone, it is worth its weight in gold - also for me. It was a real eye-opener to discover that digital solutions, which we experience as easily accessible, can be a big barrier for others. It's really incapacitating if you can't use these solutions" said Elisa after the event.
KMD Aarhus received students from the Data Analytics course. These are students with good IT proficiency but who still face problems accessing the Danish job market. KMD’s collaboration with ReDI School reflects our ambition to inspire more women to get interested in IT, thus supporting greater diversity among IT professionals. During the visit, we tried to help them develop and market their professional profile and personal competencies, so they can appear more attractive to potential employees.
KMD had arranged mock interviews for us and at the end, they gave us valuable feedback and guidance on how to approach the real job interviews
First, the students met Christian Binggeli-Winter, vice-president of Data, IM & Analytics (DIMA), and Malte Højmark-Bertelsen, Head of AI & NLP. Drawing from real-life work experience in developing Natural Language Processing in KMD, students heard about those skills, both hard and soft, which are most valued in software developers. But the core learning experience of the evening came later, when a round of simulated job interviews was organized in which all students had the opportunity to participate. One of the students, Gayathri Venkatraman, found this experience very valuable: “KMD had arranged mock interviews for us, and at the end, they gave us valuable feedback and guidance on how to approach the real job interviews”. However, it was not only the students who found this encounter highly productive: “It is a super initiative. I think we learned more from the students today than they did from us. It is a team of very competent students” said Christian Binggeli-Winter after the visit.